LAPA's Mission

Princeton University's Program in Law and Public Affairs (LAPA) explores the role of law in constituting politics, society, the economy and culture. LAPA participants are engaged in the study of law both in the present and over time, not only in the US, but also in countries around the world and across national borders. Each year, LAPA brings to Princeton a select group of residential fellows and occasional visitors drawn from the academy, legal practice, government, and policy-making institutions. They join a collection of professors on Princeton’s permanent faculty who draw upon diverse methodologies to investigate legal phenomena. By combining the multidisciplinary expertise of Princeton’s faculty with knowledge and perspectives provided by leading academic and practical experts on the law, the Program in Law and Public Affairs has created an exciting new forum for teaching and research about the legal technologies and institutions needed to address the complex problems of the new century.

LAPA facilitates teaching and research on law throughout the university by coordinating the efforts of the law-engaged faculty around Princeton, adding the expertise of a set of extraordinary fellows and visitors, and running a series of seminars, guest speakers, workshops, and conferences to bring law-related expertise together in one place.  LAPA organizes a biweekly seminar, which serves as a forum for faculty and guest speakers to present cutting-edge work on law and law-related phenomena. LAPA also sponsors a seminar for graduate students to hone their talents, meet law-engaged graduate students from other departments and programs, and share their work with both faculty and fellow graduate students. LAPA is home to an undergraduate forum for students to explore the intellectual side of law and to meet fellows, visitors, graduate students and faculty in the field.  LAPA also brings distinguished speakers to campus and organizes workshops on a variety of topics.

LAPA was founded in 1999 as a joint venture of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs , the the University Center for Human Values, and the Politics Department.  

LAPA’s activities are overseen by an Executive Committee composed of distinguished members of the Princeton faculty, plus Paul Frymer as LAPA's Director, Charles Beitz as UCHV's Director, and the Woodrow Wilson School Dean Cecilia Rouse.

  • Carol J. Greenhouse, Professor of Anthropology
  • Hendrik A. Hartog, Class of 1921 Bicentennial Professor in the History of American Law and Liberty; Professor of History; Director, Program in American Studies
  • Stanley N. Katz, Lecturer with the rank of Professor in Public and International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School
  • Stephen J. Macedo, Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Politics and the University Center for Human Values
  • Jan-Werner Müller, Professor of Politics
  • Alan W. Patten, Professor of Politics
  • Paul Starr, Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs; Stuart Professor of Communications and Public Affairs